By Emma Leeds Armstrong, ’18, and Jack Blaisdell, ’18
Thanks to funding secured by County Supervisor Joe Simitian, MA ’00, Stanford in Government will offer six new fellowships in Santa Clara County offices this summer. The opportunities include placements in the Office of Reentry Services, the Office of Women’s Policy, and the Santa Clara Valley Medical Center. Ameena Tawakol, ’17, the director of the SIG committee overseeing these new placements, was a SIG fellow in County Supervisor Simitian’s office last year. She is excited to expand the opportunities for SIG students in her home county.
In October, the SIG County Initiatives Committee met with alumni who work for Santa Clara County. Among these alumni were former SIG Chair Elizabeth Pianca, ’99; Javier Aguirre, ’96; Judge Tom Kuhnle, ’87, MA ’88, JD ’95; and Supervisor Joe Simitian, MA ’00, who represents Stanford on the Santa Clara Board of Supervisors. James Williams, JD ’10, deputy county executive, has also been instrumental to SIG’s efforts. Discussion with these leaders yielded many valuable ideas about creating and sustaining productive fellowships, and the best ways to implement the new partnership.
These fellowships join dozens of existing international, national, and state government opportunities that SIG facilitates. Through SIG Fellowships, students can find internships with organizations that suit nearly any academic or professional interest. These fellowships also provide opportunities to travel and live abroad for the summer. The addition of the County Fellowships program is a groundbreaking new development as SIG seeks to expand its reach to all levels of government and provide students with an increasing variety of transformative summer experiences in public policy.